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Soul of a New Machine

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Reviews

Average Rating
★★★★½
(10 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • If you want to know how it all began with Fear Factory’s industrial metal angst, this is a good place to start. The production is raw and the songs are closer to death metal than later Fear Factory releases, but it’s all here – the bone crushing guitars, the clockwork drumming, the beastly then angelic vocals. Right from the get-go the Factory melds man and machine to make a new wrinkle on your daddy’s metal core.

    Random samples from Full Metal Jacket and local media clips sprinkle and add flavor to these straight ahead sonic attacks. I’m still taking this record all in thanks to the thoughful inclusion of ‘Fear is the Mindkiller.’ This was a remix record before industrial remix wars became popular in the mid 90s. You get a lot of cool music for your buck with this record, and if you ever wondered where Fear Factory got their start or ideas from, it will all make more sense after you pick this record up.

    Posted on February 11, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The band had just begun to play when I was hit pretty hard and sent to my direct left, as I tried to calculate what had just happened, I was trying also to not fall down, and began to jog with relief when it finally did occur to me that a spirited mosher had struck me and sent me sailing, a thin body can be moved quite a distance with such a force. It was a familiar feeling; albeit unexpected since I thought myself outside the circle….I didn’t have to look back or even know who hit me, and after checking for missing parts my focus went directly to the band on the stage.

    Ah, brutal death metal….this must be Fear Factory, a band I knew very little about other than they seemed to be some type of DM band with industrial ties perhaps, sorta like Godflesh, Ministry perhaps? And just as my interest was about to go back to the moshing to my right, I heard the most amazing sound coming from the stage….the guy was singing up into the microphone in front of all that pummeling drums, guitars, and bass, singing well too… and at that moment I knew this was something very special, but at the same time I still didn’t feel like a part of it. Mabye it was the out of the loop moshpit thing and I felt outdated….but at some point this moment would prove beneficial in my ever expanding muscial taste. I was at this early 90’s show to see Clutch and Sepultura also, and for the most part don’t remember much about either one, I’m pretty sure Clutch put on a great show, but not even sure I stayed for Sepultura, I guess I had had enough, and it was enough surprises and interesting things had happened for the evening.

    Soul Of A New Machine is an interesting, amazing blend of death metal crunch that is not to technical for the most part, minimal industrial effects, and of course the all important clean vocals weave in and out of so many of the songs they do. It all works very well, and each song has a different feel, some are more industrial metal, some more Death Metal sounding, a few have no clean vocals, just the growl, and a couple if i’m not mistaken just hammer along like punk metal or something of that nature. All this seems fitting and the time was right in ‘92 for this to come out, alot of experimentation was going on all over the place. You had Godflesh, you had Cynic….and those are just 2 I can think of right now.

    Favs include “Scumgrief” (which is probably my fav FF song of all time, or at least in the top 5), “Martyr”, “Scapegoat”, “Crisis”, “Suffer Age”, “Self Immolation”, and “Lifeblind”. There are a couple I tend to skip over like “Natividad”, and “Arise Above Oppression”. “Leechmaster” is one I give a pass to sometimes also, but listen to it occasionally due to it’s overall pummeling sound, but I do prefer the songs that combine the death metal growl with the clean vocals for the most part on my FF songs.

    On the second disc there are some mixes of a few songs, and for FF I’m not a big fan of remix’s for the most part but there are a few here that are not half bad. “Scumgrief” …what I call the (DDT Mix), and “Scapegoat” (Pig Mix) are enjoyable, and the Liquid Sky Mix of “Self Immolation” is tolerable also. I guess it can lend some balance to the set once you’ve heard the original CD in it’s entirety to then hear a few alternative versions of the songs. These are the types of songs you might hear at a club I guess for the sorta mini-mosh on the dance floor. The ones I like are the ones you can at least recognize through the beats and effects and what not, and the few I mentioned don’t seem to stray as far as some others they have done like on “Remanufacture”. If I’m in the mood to listen to those types that really are techno/dancey stuff I will listen to it, but not very often after hearing the beautiful aggression of FF, will I then go in that direction let’s put it that way.

    A great 2 disc comp of the ‘92 Classic, get it and listen for yourself….you really can’t go wrong, unless you are just not into this type of music. FF influenced a legion of bands and their early stuff was just classic, whatever category or genre you want to put them in.

    Posted on February 11, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Though I’m not a fan of industrial metal, this is the only album I own by FF, and it’s solid. It’s not your standard fare Death metal, far more industrial influence.

    Posted on February 11, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • In 1992, Roadrunner Records released the major label debut of a little known quartet called Fear Factory was released. Produced by famed death metal producer Colin Richardson (who produced Machine Head’s classic debut “Burn My Eyes”), “Soul of a New Machine” not only introduced Fear Factory to the world, but helped usher in a new era in the metal genre, for better or worse. Combining the low end assault of death metal, some industrial rhythms, and some grindcore elements to boot, “Soul of a New Machine” isn’t Fear Factory’s finest hour (that belongs to “Demanufacture”), but songs like “Martyr”, “Scapegoat”, and “Scumgrief” were only a taste of things to come from the band. Arguably one of the best debut metal albums to come out of Los Angeles, “Soul of a New Machine” is here, repackaged with the “Fear is the Mindkiller” EP as a bonus disc, and if your getting into the band and don’t already own “Soul of a New Machine”, then you should definitely pick this up.

    Posted on February 10, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Here is a good example of a Remaster. When ‘Fear Factory’ first came around in 91/92, they hadn’t yet mastered the craft of production values. I’ll admit maybe due to lack of funding by their new home Roadrunner Records. However, this changed when “Demanufacture” came out in 1995. They now had top notch production, and I always wished that “SOANM” would sound similar. In 2002, Roadrunner released “Concrete”. This was indeed the bands first true album produced with Ross Robinson. It shared several songs with “SOANM”, and the production was very raw. So still I was not content with what I had. Well earlier this year I caught wind of the Remastered version of “SOANM”. I have to say with the product in hand, I’m very happy. I loved how they added “Fear Is A Mind Killer”, even though it hardly had any input by ‘Fear Factory’. It was mainly a remix album helmed by ‘Front Line Assembly’ members, and released in 1993. I love the way the package looks. “SOANM” is a white on white disc, where “FIAMK” is a black on black disc. They contrast a lot better than the originals. The sound quality is a lot more sharp, and clear. So in my eyes it deserves the 5 out of 5 I’ve given to it. However if your not a die hard fan of ‘Fear Factory’ or jumped on the “Archetype” bandwagon stay away. It will not be worth your money. Let us real fans buy it…

    Posted on February 10, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now